Monday 21 November 2022

Companion to the Sunday Gospels Year C - Henry Wansbrough OSB - CTS Scriptures

Companion to the Sunday Gospels 
Year C
ISBN 9781784696009
CTS Booklet SC125

As you can tell by the title this is one of three volumes with reflections for each Sunday of the three year cycle of the Catholic Church. This was the first I have read, I do have the other two. I greatly wished these were available in digital format but I found out from the CTS that they do not have permissions for eBooks of the scriptures contained within. I believe that is a great pity, I would love to have the three of these as eBooks. I have now read several of the volumes from the Catholic Truth Society in the CTS Scriptures Series. All of the ones I have read prior to this have an introduction by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB. The ones I have read prior to finishing this are:

The Acts of the Apostles (Introduction)

This one has a two page spread for each Sunday and a couple of feast days in the church year. There are 57 reflections in this volume. Each two page spread has the Gospel for that day and facing it a reflection by Dom Henry. Each of the Gospel pages is outlined by the colour of vestments for that day. This is the only volume that has been rebranded to date. But Year A and B are still available in older editions. The description of this volume is:

“Fr Wansbrough guides the reader through each of the Sunday gospels during Year C, from Advent to the end of the liturgical year on the feast of Christ the King (the last Sunday before Advent). Each gospel passage is accompanied by a succinct commentary on the story and the place of God’s love in Christ’s ministry and in our own lives – as his disciples.”

And the product page informed us that:

Year C falls in the following years:
Advent 2021 – Christ the King 2022
Advent 2024 – Christ the King 2025
Advent 2027 – Christ the King 2028

I have already tucked this volume away to reread it again in 2 years. And will likely cycle through the three volumes a few times. I want to call out that Dom Henry was the chief editor of the work of The Revised New Jerusalem Bible Study Edition, This volume uses that translation for the Gospel passages. There is no real introduction or forward to any of the three volumes in this set. This one has a brief note about Dom Henry and the source material at the beginning. The other two have it at the end. About Dom Henry we are informed:

“Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB, is a renowned biblical scholar who regularly writes exegesis and reflections on scripture. He recently completed a new translation of the Bible, the Revised New Jerusalem Bible. He is a Benedictine based at Ampleforth Abbey.” 

We are also given a brief history of the Jerusalem Bible Translation and in the acknowledgements it states:

“CTS gratefully acknowledges the publishers of The Sunday Word for their permission to reproduce some of Fr Wansbrough's material in this publication.”

A Sample reflection is:

LUKE 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

The Baptist's Message

This Gospel reading is like a drum-roll at the beginning of a show, building up the excitement. First comes a drumroll of human history, the names of the great rulers of the world. Then comes a drum-roll of God's history, the promise of Isaiah that all the crooked places of the world are to be straightened out.

John the Baptist, a daunting prophetic figure, came out of the desert and stood at the Jordan, catching all the merchants and travellers as they forded the river on the main trading route to the East, intent on their commercial and secular aims. 'No!' he cries, 'you have got to change your standards, take on a different set of values, for something much more important is about to happen.' This is what 'Repent!' means: 'Change your way of life! Get real! Join the community of those who are waiting for the Great Event! The moment of God's mercy is approaching. This is going to change everything and bring in a totally new world.'

If we take John's message seriously we must examine ourselves and our priorities in life. What is important to us? Are we building a community where God's true values are our guiding-lines? Are we making his paths straight and the rough roads smooth?”

I hope that sample reflections give you a feel for the volume. The first edition of this volume was released in 2018. And it was rebranded prior to the edition I sued over 2021/2022. I am now reading A Year With the Bible - 365 Daily Reflections, from Dom Henry and the CTS, which I can also easily recommend.

It was wonderful to read these reflections over the year. I tried to read them during the week and again on Sunday Evening before bed. I found that having read these ahead of time helped me to interact with the Gospel more on Sunday’s even if it was not the focus of the homily. These are great little booklets. It is an excellent resource from the Catholic Truth Society! I just wish that these booklets were available electronically as well. It is great to pick up over the year.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Henry Wansbrough OSB:
CTS Books:
36 Days & 36 Ways Daily Meditations from Advent to the Epiphany Year B
40 Days and 40 Ways Daily Meditations for Lent Year A
40 Days and 40 Ways Daily Meditations for Lent Year B
40 Days and 40 Ways Daily Meditations for Lent Year C
Companion to the Sunday Gospels: The Year of Mercy
Companion to the Sunday Gospels: Year B
Jesus: The Real Evidence
The CTS New Catholic Bible (Editor)

Other Books:
40 Days With Paul
Benedictines In Oxford (Editor)
Children's Atlas Of The Bible: A Photographic Account Of The Journeys In The Bible From Abraham To St. Paul
Doubleday Bible Commentary: Genesis
Doubleday Bible Commentary: The Gospel of Luke
Event And Interpretation
In the Beginning
Introducing the New Testament
Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition
Luke: A Bible Commentary For Every Day
Mark and Matthew
Risen from the Dead
Sunday Word: A Commentary on the Sunday Readings
The Bible A Reader's Guide: Summaries, Commentaries, Color Coding for Key Themes
The Gospel of Matthew: Take and Read (Editor)
The Gospels: Take and Read
The Holy Spirit
The Incarnation
The Lion and the Bull: The Gospels of Mark and Luke
The New Jerusalem Bible (Editor)
The New Testament of the New Jerusalem Bible (Editor)
The Passion
The Passion And Death Of Jesus
The Resurrection
The Spck Bible Guide
The Story of Jesus
The Story of Jesus: Photographed as If You Were There!
The Story Of The Bible: How It Came To Us
The Use and Abuse of the Bible: A Brief History of Biblical Interpretation

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